Australia has lost its only decent political leader, just ten days away from the most critical phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
She was not overthrown in a banquet coup, charged with a felony, diagnosed with a debilitating health condition, or hit by a bus.
Gladys Berejiklian was instead effectively stabbed by unelected lawyers and bureaucrats from the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) tendered her resignation 10 days after the end of the state’s three-month lockdown
Her shocking resignation as prime minister of NSW on Friday will throw the state’s three-month lockdown rise into chaos and deal a heavy blow to Australia as a whole.
The country’s largest state is now out of control with a bloody brawl brewing to replace it and the victor will be weakened, not elected and without the public’s trust, Ms Berejiklian has spent 18 months building it up.
NSW was heading for a massive Covid vaccination rate and optimism finally returned through a clear roadmap back to freedom.
Will this all derail now?
People leave flowers at NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian’s home shortly after she announced her resignation on Friday (pictured)
And for what?
ICAC researchers could have announced their fishing expedition at any time, but they chose one of the worst possible periods to do so.
The tough NSW leader was questioned for days about her relationship with ‘Dodgy Darryl’ Maguire a year ago and emerged with barely a scratch.
Her personal humiliation over her ill-fated romance with the disgraced former member of Wagga Wagga being spattered in the news in excruciating detail only made the public love her more.
That was a year ago, and yet ICAC chooses 10 days before the end of lockdown, when the state needs firm leadership to keep the spirits up as Covid hospitalizations and deaths peak even as restrictions continue. be relaxed.
If examining Ms. Berejiklian was so urgent, why wait a year? If it can wait, why not leave it until sometime next year with Covid in the rearview mirror?
Destabilizing the NSW government at this point is simply irresponsible and could cost lives in the worst case scenario.
If Mrs. Berejiklian is guilty of corruption – be it illegally helping her dodgy lover, not being transparent enough, or anything else – of course she should go.
But by raking her over the coals at such a critical juncture, ICAC needed to know she wouldn’t have an option to resign immediately, regardless of her guilt.
ICAC gets her high-profile scalp without even having to prove she’s done anything wrong.
Ms Berejiklian pictured with former Prime Minister Barry O’Farrell and ex-lover ‘Dodgy Darryl’ Maguire (pictured)
The hard-hitting leader was questioned by the Independent Commission Against Corruption last October (pictured)
“My resignation as Prime Minister could not have come at a worse time, but the timing is completely out of my control as the ICAC has chosen to take this action during the most challenging weeks of the most challenging times in NSW history,” he said. they.
“That is the prerogative of the ICAC. Resigning at this point is against every instinct in my being and something I don’t want to do, I love my job and serving the community, but I was not given a choice after the statement issued.”
“Continuing as Prime Minister would disrupt the state government at a time when our full attention should be given to the challenges facing NSW.
“I don’t want to be a distraction from what should be the focus of the state government during this pandemic, which is the well-being of our citizens.”
If ICAC had waited for all of this to be over, Ms Berejiklian might have been sidelined temporarily until she cleared her name, as Neville Wran did for 74 Days in 1983.
Instead, not only has NSW lost an effective leader who has led its state through its worst times, it will also resign from parliament completely.
Should Ms Berejiklian be acquitted, it will be a grave injustice not only for her, but also for the 8.17 million people she served as prime minister for almost five years.
Gladys Berejiklian testified at the Independent Crime Commission Against Corruption last year (pictured)
To make matters worse, she will be less than four months short of a sizable pension for five-year prime ministers – which she’s earned in the past 18 months alone.
Ms Berejiklian has plenty of detractors, many of whom are popping champagne corks or smugly tweeting to celebrate her passing.
Many believe it took too long to shut down and let go of Delta on Australia – ignoring that with a few cases, Victoria has been injunctions and is headed for a bigger outbreak than NSW.
Some are also angry that she has received preferential treatment from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, or claim that she is opening up her state too soon.
Others just hate her for being on the wrong side of politics.
But her haters should consider what she has done for this state by avoiding a complete shutdown of Sydney for more than a year.
Her 11am updates calmed the population down when one was needed in recent months, and she was the driving force behind returning Australians by the end of the year.
She took all the slings and arrows thrown at her and while she was far from perfect, her legacy should be the strongest of all pandemic politicians.
Gladys deserved better than this.